Six imams (who had just attended a private conference on imams and the media and politics) were waiting for US Airways Flight 300 and decided to act rather provocatively: they shouted “Allahu Akbar!” loudly while praying in the waiting area, refused to take their assigned seats (instead squatting in the front row of first class and the exit rows—consistent with trying to control the entry and exit areas of the plane), demanded use of a seatbelt extension for the morbidly obese despite being only moderately overweight (and then placed the heavy-buckled potential weapons under their seats instead of on their seatbelts), and started speaking to one another in Arabic (which a fellow passenger translated as angry denunciations of America). They succeeded in the attempt to draw attention to themselves; the captain asked them to leave the plane, they refused, and were then arrested; the plane then underwent a 3.5-hour search for bombs.
“They should have been denied boarding and been investigated,” former air marshal Robert MacLean said. “It looks like they are trying to create public sympathy or maybe setting someone up for a lawsuit.”
Sure enough, the victimizers are now playing victim and threatening to sue under the auspices of the Muslim American Society (which was previously in the news for demanding that Muslim cab-drivers be permitted to refuse rides to passengers carrying alcohol) and the litigious Council on American-Islamic Relations (Apr. 25). The provocation, helped along by new Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), also appears to have its desired effect: “The Minneapolis airport plans to add a prayer room for Muslims, and Democrats plan to hold hearings on Muslim profiling.” (Audrey Hudson, “How the Imams Terrorized an Airliner”, Washington Times/Front Page, Nov. 29; Arizona Republic op-ed, Nov. 29; Debra Burlingame, “On a Wing and a Prayer”, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 6; LGF blog, Nov. 21; “Tale of Fibbing Imams”, Investors Business Daily, Dec. 4 via Powerline blog, Dec. 6).